Numerators, denominators, square roots, algorithms, theorems – sometimes trying to figure out the equation of how to maximize your potential as a bodybuilder can feel as complicated as all of those old math facts we’ve all done our best to forget. That’s why seeing a great physique is so inspiring, because it gives us hope that if someone else can manage to figure out how to solve the problem, then maybe one day we’ll find a way to make sense of it all ourselves. At the 2014 NPC Junior Nationals Super heavyweight champion Big Russ Allen found his own way to solve the equation and catapulted himself into the spotlight in the process. I recently had a chance to catch up with the champ following his impressive victory to dig a little deeper into exactly who this Midwest Mountain of Muscle really is, and you can catch all of the details right here, in this IronAffinity exclusive interview.
Q.) Tell us how you first became interested in bodybuilding?
A.) I first became interested in bodybuilding after I attended a show that one of my good friends was competing in – The Northern, here in Colorado. I believe it was 2005 or 06. His name was Aaron Reed (Big O, and) after that I started buying all the magazines I could.
Q.) At what point were you first introduced to weight training?
A.)I did a small amount of weight training in high school. Not much, but I did learn some of the basics. I played baseball and had originally set my goal to play professional ball.
Q.) After you began to focus your efforts on diet and training did you find that you made gains easily? Or would you call yourself more of a hard-gainer?
A.) I found that size came fairly easy to me. Although, my first year with bodybuilding I was all about just getting huge so a lot of that was fat.
Q.) Bodybuilding is the sport of ultimate sacrifice, and the reality is that most individuals simply aren’t built to endure the level of commitment and sacrifice that it takes to be successful. Tell us about some of the struggles you faced early on in your bodybuilding journey.
A.) A few of the struggles I faced right away were obviously with diet, and lack of knowledge. I understood the basics but could never quite figure out my own body. Like I stated above I just ate all the time in hopes to grow; instead, I got fat.
Q.) What was the turning point that made you finally decide you wanted to commit to your iron-mistress and step onstage for the first time?
A.) I finally committed to a show in 2008, about 6 months after I had decided to get serious about the gym and diet.
Q.) In your opinion, what’s the most important thing that bodybuilding has taught you about yourself?
A.) That’s easy – patience, and having the ability to overcome any obstacle thrown my way.
Q.) Despite you’re relatively short contest history you’ve managed to make quite a name for yourself in the industry as one of the bright rising future stars. Do you feel added pressure heading into your next contest due to the high expectations that are going to be placed on you?
A.) I have never really been one to worry or stress over pressure. I stay pretty grounded and focus on making progress.
Q.) What do you feel you need to improve on as a competitor to bring your best to the stage and secure your pro card?
A.) I think I need a lot of overall growth both mentally and physically in order to secure a pro card. I know I can always make improvements going into shows, so I focus a lot on the mental aspect because I feel it helps me stay humble and focused on bringing a better physique show after show.
Q.) Bodybuilders may stand onstage as individuals, but it takes a strong team to support a successful athlete. Who would you like to thank for supporting you throughout your career thus far?
A.) First of all I have to thank my amazing fiancée Kelsey Dietz. Without her help and support I feel my bodybuilding career may have ended sooner than expected, but she kept me going and never let me quit. I would also like to thank my sponsor, Warrior Fuel Supplements, for always making sure I am well taken care of. The product line and company are getting better and better, and we will be a household name amongst the greats very soon. You can check out the line and clothing as well as the other athletes at www.warriorfuelsupplements.com
Q.) If someone would like to find out more about Russ Allen, or contact you for sponsorship and guest posing opportunities, what’s the best way for them to reach you?
Even though he’s managed to pass his first big test on the way to securing his pro card Russ is going to have to continue to work hard and refine his formula if he hopes see those magical seven letters stamped across his final test of the season –IFBB PRO….so far, so good.